Let us take you back to our world just 5 years ago. We both worked full-time, out of the home. Our kids were active and in school. Kristina was leading the PTO and Josh was serving on City Council, chaired the city’s planning and zoning commission, and sat on at least 3 other boards and commissions in that capacity.
We were just launching an annual Youth Expo in our town. We were both active and serving to reboot a local community festival. On top of these major commitments, between her and I both our time was also being spent at our local community theater, Chamber of Commerce events, volunteering in other small capacities where needed and at the same time, balancing other commitments like 22 birthday parties a year! (You heard that right!)
Overcommitted was an understatement. However, we were dedicated and felt some purpose in serving others. The results though were not all positive. Tension would build in our marriage because of this. The focus on us often took the backseat. Our kid’s attitudes were less than acceptable because they would have to accompany us along the way. In an effort to serve others, we were not serving ourselves very well. In an effort to fill needs, we were allowing our relationship and needs to suffer.
What Did We Do? Stared saying No! It’s not always easy, but it’s necessary.
We understand and practice saying no more often because No is a perfectly acceptable answer when others are asking for our time. Saying No, has allowed us more time to say yes to ourselves, our kids, and our passions.
We realized that putting ourselves first is what we and our kids needed. Putting ourselves first was not as selfish as it seemed because putting ourselves first means we are charged and have the physical and emotional capacity to serve our marriage, our kids, and ourselves.
We ran across this video on the internet that talks about this and we wanted to share it.
Yes, it gets tricky at times and not everyone likes to hear the word No!
We are not suggesting running out and just telling our families, spouse, and kids NO, just because it’s not a “Hell Yeah” when they ask for our help. We need to fix dinner, do laundry, and help family and friends from time to time.
Each of us has already said hell yeah to our spouses when we said the “I do”. We have already said hell yeah to our kids when we brought them into this world and we have all said hell yeah to our jobs when we accepted them, to a large degree.
With the precious time we have left, why not say “No” more often when the request for our attention and time come at us? If it’s not “Hell Yeah” we want to do that, then it’s “No.”
Kids want to pick up a second sport or activity, No!
Going to yet another birthday party, No!
Volunteering for that pretty cool festival or event, which does not really line up to our priorities and mission in life, No!
Going on Date Nights, Hell Yeah!
Watching our kids engage in their passion, Hell Yeah!
Putting our needs and wishes first, Hell Yeah!
Time is the most precious gift we have to give to our kids, our spouses, and most importantly ourselves! We still struggle with getting busy and as a result, we have too often be reminded ourselves, that it’s ok to say no.
~Josh & Kris